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Should Unit Size Vary?

If you want to make money as a sports bettor, you must be knowledgeable about the sports on which you’re betting, about betting itself and about money management. Many sports bettors have a good sense of sports and betting but most don’t have a clue about what to do when it comes to managing their bankroll.

Bankroll management is one of the most important skills you can learn. Understanding how to use your cash to your best advantage means knowing when and how to bet whether you’re winning or losing. Remember that sports betting is a business and any business requires an ability to handle the money ledger like a pro. If you’re a talented, professional sports bettor who doesn’t know the first thing about money management then you will greatly compromise your ability to profit from your success.

Bankroll basics relate to the total amount of your stake and how you should break that money up into units. Once you divide your betting bankroll into units, you’ll be using these units when you wager. This is the best way to keep tabs on your money and to control your wagering. If you don’t use units, you’ll have a hard time determining how your successes and failures have affected you and how you might be able to improve your state. Here’s the way it works.

Let’s say you’re starting with a bankroll of $5,000. Basic sports betting banking theory dictates that a unit be equivalent to either 2% or 3% of that total. At 2%, a unit based on a $5,000 bank would be $100 and at 3% it would be $150. You would then bet a certain number of units on specific games. Game A might carry a one unit bet, while Game B might be seen as a better bet and warrant a three unit wager.

The question is should you vary your unit size as your betting bankroll increases or decreases? Some argue that the size of a unit should remain consistent no matter what. But this doesn’t make sense. By doing so, you’d be putting yourself at great risk when down and you’d be dissipating your power when your bankroll is in the black.

Here’s the way it works. Let’s say your bankroll is down from $5,000 to $2,000. Instead of being worth 2% of your bank, a unit, which is $100, is now worth 5%. Now every unit you bet is risking more than twice what you’d originally been risking. If you run into a few more bad weeks, you’ll be out of cash quickly.

Adjusting for your loses, your new unit at 2% would be $40.  With the $100 unit and $2,000, you had 20 bets left but with your new $40 unit, you can place up to 50 bets. Lowering the worth of your unit is simply giving you the ability to make more smart bets and to keep your risk within reason. With this new, smaller unit in place, you can slowly increase your bankroll with no extra risk. You will, however, have to show patience in doing so. Tossing down a $100 unit bet, even one, and losing it can really affect your ability to stay in the game.

Let’s go to the other side of the ledger. What if you find yourself up by $5,000.  That would make your bank worth $10,000. Now a unit bet of $100 is 1% of your bankroll. Let’s say that you make a two-unit NFL wager and a three-unit wager. Using your original unit amount, you would have $500 in play. That $500 you’re betting gives you the chance to make about $500 more.

However, if you adjust your betting unit size to 2% of your new bankroll, a unit would be worth $200. Taking the same bets into consideration, you’d have $1,000 in play with the chance of making an additional $1,000. You’ve risked a total of 10% of your roll to expand your holdings by the same amount. Being $5,000 up, the question isn’t why should you do this but why not? Percentage-wise you have not increased your risk, and yet you’ve harnessed more of the power of your burgeoning bankroll.

If you lost all five units, your roll would be $9,000 and you would now have a unit worth $180. If you won, one unit would be 2% of 11,000 or $220. Either way, you are simply using the same sound formula you did when your stake was at $5,000. That makes sound sports betting sense.

The basic advice is to vary your standard unit by always taking 2% or 3% of your bankroll. In this way as a sports bettor, you will always be taking the same risk while giving yourself plenty of opportunities to recoup losses or increase your profits.

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